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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a side-scrolling platformer based around speed, and the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog. Like the original, players run through different worlds called "zones", which each have their own specific theme. There are two Acts in nearly all of the 10 Zones, and at the end of each Zone's last Act is a machine that Robotnik controls, which you must defeat to progress. The evil Dr. Robotnik wants to conquer the world. In order to do that, he imprisons and transforms all animals into robots called "Badniks". This way they can build his powerful weapon, the Death Egg. Only Sonic the Hedgehog, and his new tagalong partner, Miles 'Tails' Prower, can stop Robotnik and his army of Badniks from taking over the world.

Sonic and Tails can collect rings which are scattered throughout all of the levels. As with most platformers, when the player collects 100 rings, they earn an extra life. However, the rings also act as protection; if Sonic is hurt when he is carrying rings, they scatter everywhere and he is briefly invincible. If he is hit again when he has no rings, he'll lose a life. If the player reaches a continue point lamppost with 50 or more rings, they'll be able to access the Special Stage. In this stage, you must gather a set amount of rings in a halfpipe-like stage before you reach a checkpoint. Complete all the checkpoints and you'll earn one of the seven Chaos Emeralds.

New to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the ability to play the game co-op with a friend - at any time, a player can plug in a second controller and take over the AI controlled Tails. Tails has infinite lives and the camera remains focused on Sonic, meaning that Tails will not hinder play. Sonic (and Tails) can now also get speed from a standing start by holding down and repeatedly pressing the jump button for a "spin dash". This is useful when stuck near steep slopes or other areas where you need some momentum. The game also features a 2-player versus mode. This mode is a horizontally split-screen race through levels based on three of the zones in the single player game.

The mobile version (iOS/Android) contains ten new levels in a new environment called Hidden Palace Zone, a boss attack mode, upgraded graphics, faster frame rate, a re-mastered soundtrack, and Knuckles as a third playable character.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Wii The Speed Boots monitor
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Xbox 360 Bouncing up high into the air for more hidden rings!
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Genesis Chemical Plant
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Windows Another level introduction

Promo Images

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Screenshot
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Screenshot
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Screenshot
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Other


Alternate Titles

  • "Sonic 2" -- Common title
  • "Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog 2" -- Nintendo Switch title
  • "SEGA AGES ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2" -- Japanese Nintendo Switch spelling
  • "3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2" -- Nintendo 3DS title
  • "ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2" -- Japanese spelling
  • "바람돌이 소닉 2" -- Korean spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Probably the best Genesis game Genesis Feem (45)
Ohh! Blast Processing Genesis Classic Nigel (150)
A slicker, faster version of the original virtual high-speed chase Genesis Zach Waksman (2)
The best Sega game ever produced! Genesis Tibes80 (1567)
A huge improvement over the original Genesis colm52 (122)
It wasn't bad for a Genesis Game! Genesis Bob McNeal (4)
The best game ever...? Genesis Spindash (96)

Critic Reviews Genesis Jul 17, 2004 10 out of 10 100
HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) Genesis Jul 30, 2005 10 out of 10 100
Sega Force Genesis Jan, 1993 100 out of 100 100
SEGA-Mag (Objectif-SEGA) Genesis Aug 04, 2006 10 out of 10 100
GameFan Magazine Genesis Dec, 1992 98.5 out of 100 98 Xbox 360 Jan 11, 2010 19 out of 20 95
HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) Genesis Oct 28, 2005 9 out of 10 90
Retro Gamer Xbox 360 Feb 01, 2008 89 out of 100 89
Play Time Genesis 1993 85 out of 100 85
Megablast Genesis 1993 80 out of 100 80


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1001 Video Games

The Mega Drive version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cut content

The Hidden Palace Zone, which is in the beta, but not the final release, was used extensively in previews. One controversial topic among Sonic fans is a mysterious screenshot of what appeared to be a desert that popped up in various gaming magazines prior to the game's release. While many believe it to be a mock-up or a clever hoax, there are others who note elements of the screenshot do in fact appear in the beta, and some conceptual drawings imply that a desert level did, in fact, exist at one point. (One title of a drawing even says "Desert Level" in Japanese.) Still, there are those who insist this is nonsense.


Sonic collects all seven Chaos Emeralds and transforms from a blue rodent into a fiery yellow powerhouse with insane speed. Merely a cheesy plot device pulled out of Yasuhara's ass? Possibly, but the connection is more likely a parody of Dragon Ball, the insanely popular flagship work of manga artist Akira Toriyama. In the manga, which was serialized in Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995, the hero Son Goku (the Monkey King) searches for the seven legendary Dragon Balls. Eventually he is able to transform into a "Super Saiyan", a form in which he gains immense power along with spiky golden hair.


The Death Egg is based on the Death Star from Star Wars.


Sonic 2 had a worldwide release date, which was uncommon at the time. November 24, 1992 was dubbed Sonic 2sday (a pun of the fact that it was a Tuesday), and the game was released across all markets. This is referenced in the game by the order in which you need to play the sound effects to activate the debug mode.

Sonic CD

Due to the fact that Sonic CD was starting development around the same time that Sonic 2 was finishing up, the early buzz about the two games often got confused, leading to predictions that Sonic 2 would involve time travel.


Just like Sonic, Tails's real name, Miles Prower, is a reference to speed (miles per hour).


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • December 1992 (Issue 41) - Game of the Month
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #61 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #42 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • April 2007 (Issue #37) – #5 Top Platformer Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Marquerite Richardson, MegaMegaMan; PCGamer77 and Tiago Jacques

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